Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Pinterest Report: Growing Lettuce from Scraps


I should preference this Pinterest Report this that I am no green thumb. I'm proud I can even grow tulips (that pretty much grow themselves). I do have an Orchid that hasn't died yet, so I suppose that's something.

I saw this pin about growing lettuce from the left over scraps of a head of romaine lettuce.

So I thought I would give it a try. Can't be too hard. Put scrap in water and ta da, lettuce! I was a bit skeptical about if it would work. I was proven quite wrong.

Here is the lettuce after only a few days:

Here's my lettuce after a week and half. Pretty good! I have changed the water once. Now I just have to figure out what to do with it. Do I move it to dirt? Can it go outside this time of year? The posts I read were a bit sketchy about what happens from here. But I suppose I can just buy another head and start over if it doesn't work.

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Cool Unexpected Project

Happy Friday!
One of my husband's friends was kind enough to watch our daughter while my husband got some new tires. (Auto Shops and a 2 year old don't tend to mix well) We were quite grateful that he agreed to help, but he also did this project with our daughter! He cut out her name and let her paint it. It was a very cool way to spend an afternoon.

It just so happens his wife is quite crafty as well and is blogging about crafts and being a working mom and a vet school widow (something I can also attest to!). Check it out here.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Pinterest Report: Work-out Ideas


I have two projects I did off Pinterest.

Mostly success stories, but with a few modifications.

First is this pin regarding exercises on popsicle sticks.

So the pin is the idea that you put all the exercises you want to do on popsicle sticks. I think the idea is pretty solid. I never remember those exercises on Pinterest I see, so this is a good way to remember and work towards a goal.

One thing I found is 1) I sometimes didn't know what the heck the exercise was, and 2) the marker would bleed everywhere.

So, my modification to this Pin is to 1) put on the back a hint on what the exercise. (I know what a side luge is but I might not know what a glute kickback is), and 2) use a fine tip marker or pin instead of the average sharpie. I also added what exercise set the exercise came from in case I wanted to just do one work-out.

Also, I used a fun painted widemouth mason jar. May as well make it pretty too.

The second Pin was the "Workout Tip Jar." Everytime you exercise you put money into the jar so you have modivation to exercise.

I found this mildly motivating. I have been following it, and I do think to myself if I'm trying to wiggle out of a run, that it's one less dollar towards something fun. I made this project pretty too with some mod podge and fabric on a glass jar. I'll eventually jazz up the label if I'm bored.

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

DIY Sunday: New Machine & Project


What a busy couple of days! I am still working very hard at work, but I finally got some fruits of that labor today. A couple of months ago my sewing machine broke down. It was my second machine in 3 years, so I decided it was time to get an upgrade and stop messing around with cheap machines from big box retailers. I headed over to my local quilt shop (Quilting Connection in Ames, IA). I got a beautiful Viking Machine. (To be more specific, I got the HiClass 100Q) Now getting a better machine not only means I've gotten something built better, but I've also got a better warranty. Quilting Connection has free classes for people that purchase machines from them and they even have monthly sewing club meetings for people that have purchased a machine from them. On top of that, if I decide in the next year I want a bigger badder machine, they offer a trade-in of the full retail value for a new machine. Great benefits.

So, I did a quick project for my daughter. I had some fun popsicle fabric. We made (yes, she helped) a simple skirt for her.

On a side note, I got a new iPhone and first smartphone. (I know...probably one of the last people without one). So, now I am obsessed with Instagram. About 4 years too late)

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Monday, April 8, 2013

The Pinterest Report: Hair Tutorial Pins

I think anyone that has played around with Pinterest has probably a positive and a negative experience. Or maybe, just negative. We all remember my stepping stone atrocity that was featured on Craft Fail. I had a friend recently tell me that she wasn’t sure if any of the recipes she had tried were every even made by anyone else, because they tasted terrible. A couple of months ago, I had decided to start two Pinterest boards about my personal experiences. I have one “Tried & True: Pins that Work”  and “Yikes! Pins That Don’t Work.” I am happy to report that there are definitely more pins that work than don’t, but nonetheless, I thought I would share my experiences with you.

Some of the pins don’t bear repeating. You’ve seen all the Handmade Christmas gifts I made. Almost everything I made worked out great. I especially enjoyed the dinosaur tail and the fishing set.
However, I’ve tried some things outside of crafts that have worked great. Today I’m going to share two hair tutorials that are pretty much amazing. Both come from the same blog. I should preference this that I’m not that great with hair. I mean I don’t burn my hair off like this tutorial, but I’m not much more talented than that.

I initially discovered this blog when this pin was first pinned.
So, here is the pin picture:

 Picture from The Small Things Blog

And here’s my result:

Not too bad, huh? 

Next up is this pin about adding texture and curls to your hair:

And here’s my result:

Now, I there are some frizz issues. I had a hairstylist many years ago tell me that when you’re adding texture into your hair, it might not be a bad idea to first comb it then add in your product to avoid frizz. Then avoid touching it as it dries. I found that also works, but you don’t get the same volume. So, at least with my hair, it’s one or the other. I'm glad I found this blog! It's been so helpful watching her videos.

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Sunday, April 7, 2013

DIY Sunday: Dad's Valentine's Gift

For Valentine's Day this year, I got my hubby a "fun" gift (a video game he's been wanting...I know..real romantic, but he wanted it and enjoys it) and the kids did the mushy sentimental gift. I got the poem off a Pin I saw on Pinterest (don't forget to follow me on Pinterest) and the two kids were more than happy to help with the and and foot prints. Okay, so the newborn didn't know what was going on, but the 2 year old found it quite fun.

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Who You Gonna Call?

When I thought about my duties as a parent while pregnant for the first time, I thought about the good things like cuddling, playing and teaching my daughter how to ride a bike. I also contemplated the bad things like potty training, tantrums and bed times. However, I never thought ferreting out a ghost would be on that list.

This last week, my husband was studying in our living room, and I was washing dishes in the kitchen. Both children were sleeping. Pretty dull evening. I heard little footsteps in the room above me. Our two-almost-three old daughter has been having some issues sleeping. She was a stellar sleeper until little brother came along, and she’s started sneaking into our bed at night. Either newborn exhaustion is making me sleep unusually deep, or my daughter has been studying with a Jedi master and is officially a ninja. (I fully understand that doesn’t make any sense. I mean after all a Jedi is not a ninja. So, calm down fellow nerds) In fact a few weeks ago, I woke up with my daughter about three inches from my face whispering “I’m naked.” She was, in fact, quite naked. 

Any who, judging by the direction of the footsteps, she was making the same play for our bed, but we weren’t in it yet. I heard my husband go upstairs to meet her.

About 10 minutes later, I hear my husband coming down the stairs and in comes my daughter with him. Well that unusual. She doesn’t get to come downstairs once its bedtime. My husband has this smirk on his face. “What?” I ask

“Um. Your daughter is creepy.”

“What do mean?”

“Well I went to put her asleep in our bed, and she pointed to the dark corner and said, ‘He is naughty.’”

“Whaaaaat? That is creepy.”

“No, it gets worse. I asked her ‘Who is creepy?’ and she answered ‘He’s gone now.’”

“Whoa. That’s not cool.”

“So, we’re going to watch a little Mickey to forget the creepy bedtime experience.”

“Sounds like a plan.”

So, I finish washing the dishes. All the while I can’t stop thinking about when we first moved in the house. When we first moved in, I told my husband I thought the house was haunted. Now, do I have any actual evidence? Uh no. Do I even believe in ghosts? Not really. However, since I was a kid I used to freak myself out to no end with reading “true” ghost story books. In fact, I used to sneak into the adult section of the library and check out “non-fiction” type ghost books about how to track them and get rid of them etc. Terrible terrible idea! I would read them under a flashlight in the dark at night, because nothing settles the mind like reading about how ghosts you can see are harmless but the real trouble makers are ones you can’t see, in a dark quiet house at midnight. Slept like a baby every night…with the lights on.

My high school boyfriend claimed his family owned a haunted house. Now, he pretty much exaggerated everything, but his much more logical brother backed up the crazy stories as true. I don’t know. Could they be true? Maybe. At the time,  I thought it was pretty persuasive that they couldn’t sell the house and ended up demoing it…however now I really think it was because the area was just economically depressed. Adult perspective.

So, logical me doesn’t think they are real, but crazy reading ghost stories under the covers me thinks that this house is too old not to be creepy.  I like to now think me thinking the house was haunted was more a new house, new area anxiety manifesting in an odd rationalization. I talked on a couple of parenting message boards for a while when we first moved here, and one lady claimed she could read a room’s aura or something crazy like that.

So every person started posting pictures of their rooms. Every reading was like “This room has great energy and I can feel the love that it emits.” Or some yada like that. So, I thought, hey, I’ll post a picture of this room, have her get some warm fuzzes and maybe I’ll convince myself it isn’t haunted.

So, she gets the picture of my room and says, “This room has a dark past. I can feel an evil presence here.”

WHAT THE HELL. Fan-freakin-tastic. I spent the rest of the day googling “removing evil presence from room.” FYI…not many options out there.

Eventually logic won over, and I have never thought the house was haunted since. Well until my daughter claims a naughty man is creeping in the corner staring at me while I slept. That’s just superb.

After I’m done with the dishes, we all go upstairs. I’m feeding the baby on one side of our bedroom. My daughter runs back over to the same corner and points to it and says, “He’s naughty. He went home.” Well, I want to curl up in a fetal position and cry. My husband reassures her there is nothing there. However, she wouldn’t be deterred. She probably talked about it for another 10 minutes as we did our night time routine. She kept saying, “I’m scared daddy. He’s naughty.”  Or something like “He’s scary. He’s gone.”

Now, I should mention I have a daughter who is….”dramatic.” She’s dramatic in the sense she sits in front of the mirror and practices facial expressions, crying, begging, shaking her fist, yelling…pretty much every emotion. She also likes to make up tall tales. She fell down the stairs at my mother-in-law’s house last November, and she still tells the story to this day. However, it’s morphed from falling down the stairs, to first being bitten by a dog and then falling down the stairs. At times it’s even a vicious attack from several different dogs. I witnessed it all…while it was a traumatic stair fall, there was no dog biting involved.

Through all of this “haunting” business, she is never truly “scared”…I’ve seen her that way before with strangers, heights and the aforementioned stairs.

So, I lay down next to her in bed and she continued to whisper about the “thing” in the corner until she fell asleep. At about 3:00 am, she started to whimper and fuss in her sleep. That woke me up. And, I know it was my over active imagination and the lighting plus a fan moving a curtain, but I swore I saw a dark figure in the room. Talk about waking you right up. I shook it off, got up, went to the bathroom and came back to a dark hallway with Lila standing in it. Now, she normally does this when I get up and go to the bathroom, but given the nights’ events, I knew I was now in a paranormal project movie.

We both went to back to sleep without incident. The next morning while I was getting ready for work, she took my hand mirror and started her normal dramatic interpretation into the mirror. However, this time, she went over to “the corner” and showed the “thing” the mirror. She started talking to the “Thing” and held the mirror up like she was showing itself in the mirror and started pointed out ears, nose, etc.

UH. CREEPY. At this point, I’m about to start my excessive googling of “what to do when your child seems to be playing with a creepy naughty ghost in the corner.” I decided to first ask my toddler some questions about what she was doing. I asked her who she was talking to. She pointed to the corner. I then told her to go and touch what she was talking to. She touched the curtain. After several more questions and explaining, I figure out, she’s talking to the curtain that is moved by the fan. I also find out that the fan my husband has running 24/7 is being mean to the curtain because he’s blowing him about. No ghost! Today, she was talking to the fan about making the curtain feel cold.

WHEW. My brief encounter with the supernatural was just my daughter’s newly discovered imagination. Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to sleep with the lights on. I mean I’m actually keeping the bedside light on because it’s easier to nurse my son…yeah…right.

***Side Note: For those of you that don't get the late 80's early 90's reference in this post's title, there used to be a movie called "Ghostbusters" in which they would hunt ghosts. It had a quite catchy tune attached to it. Try YouTube...probably under "Old Balls Movies" ***

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Our Potty Chart

Hello There!
I wouldn't call this a project so much as a desperate attempt to make something seem like fun to my toddler.
Our daughter is just about 3. We were waiting until things settled down with the baby before we tried the whole potty training business.

Now that we're getting closer to her third birthday, we're doing much more potty training. What are children motivated by? Chocolate and stickers. (and as you'll see below, Band-aids). Generally I can get her do what ever I need her to do by promising chocolate or stickers. I thought potty training might also be the case.

I made this chart and filled in random rewards. I didn't want to give her candy every single time she sat on the potty, but I wanted there to be some sort of reward beyond the sticker. She's been doing pretty good; although I didn't realize I would have to also convince her to stay on the potty. So that usually means a snack. So I ended up losing the "food for reward" game even after my colorful chart.

Some how, without the ability to read, the first sticker she put in the board was the most expensive "big" prize (going to see a movie). She enjoyed Monsters, Inc in 3D sans 3D glasses. I tried to convince her to wear them but she turned to me and said. ."No sunglasses. It's dark in here." I didn't even have a come back for that. She made a valid point.

Some where down the line, she translated "stickers" to "Band-aids"...so now she wants a Band-aid every single time she goes potty. Argh. So if you see my child, she isn't being abused at home. She just has an unnatural obsession with Band-aids, Buzz Lightyear and Cinderella.

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Gone Junkin': Pyrex Love

Hello Everyone!

It's finally Spring here! There's nothing like a nice day where you can drive with the windows down or work in the yard. I spent the day clearing out flower beds with the "help" of my daughter.

I got a spring-tastic new Pyrex this past week. It's the Bluebird Promotional Covered (sans cover) Casserole Dish. Love it. It's only got one little mark on one side and matches my new butterprint fridge dish and new snowflake casserole dish.

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